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How Would You Choose Your Internship? #MyInternStory

Wong Shu Lee  


  December 09, 2021

Ever since we started to develop ZOM-IN, we have communicated with many students who are looking for internship placements. These opportunities allow us to listen to students’ concerns and thoughts during their transition period from school to work. 


One of the major concerns that most students are having when applying for internships is the amount of allowance given. 


As far as we know, interns are not covered by the Employment Act 1955. The only benchmark that we have right now is that in 2019, the then-Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq, announced that the minimum allowance for internships at federal government departments had been increased from RM300 to RM900 per month. [Source]


Of course, an internship is a chance for students or fresh graduates to gain valuable industry experience, and a certain amount of training and supervision is usually required. However, something worth keeping in mind is the cost of living in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. It could be difficult for interns to sustain the basic living in Kuala Lumpur, especially if they are from other states (think about the rent and transportation expenses). 


In our recent video, we have discussed the two types of scenarios that some students shared with us. The first scenario is some students were being offered unpaid internships, while on the other hand, some students were being offered internships with high allowance but minimal learning opportunities. 


Ideally, everyone wishes they could find an internship opportunity that allows them to gain knowledge and experiences that are relevant to their study, at the same time providing them an adequate amount of allowance to support their basic needs. However, we also understand that things don’t always follow our wishes. 


Therefore, we can only advise students to start preparing for their internships (and even careers) earlier. 


If you’re from a rural area, knowing the truth that career opportunities are concentrated in big cities, you should prepare for a fund for the rental in big cities as early as you could. Alternatively, you can make good friends with people from big cities so they might be able to offer you a place to stay with cheaper rent. With that, you can go ahead to seize opportunities without being held back by financial concerns. 


If you got no choice but to accept an internship job that doesn’t provide many learning opportunities, for instance, you will be assigned to do data key-in tasks only, then it’s important that you have to find other ways to compensate for the lack of experiences gained. For example, you can attend an additional internship or apprenticeship before you start your career. 


We hope this article is helpful for those who are making choices. If you need more help and advice, you can always reach out to us via email at admin@zom-in.com


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